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Navigating the world of competitive soccer is difficult, especially if you are unfamiliar with the landscape. With a little guidance, we will try to help you understand the two largest governing bodies for competitive soccer in the United States - United States Youth Soccer (USYS) and United States Club Soccer (US Club).

It is important to understand that both USYS and US Club fall under the United States Soccer Federation (USSF). The USSF is the official governing body of soccer in the United States as recognized by soccer's international governing body, FIFA.

United States Youth Soccer (USYS)

Their Mission - US Youth Soccer is a non-profit and educational organization whose mission is to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America's youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition. Our job is also to make it fun, and instill in young players a lifelong passion for the sport.

The US Youth Soccer membership is divided into four regions: East, Midwest, South and West. Fifty-five member State Associations make up US Youth Soccer with one in each state, and two in California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Boys and girls then register to play with one of the 6,000+ clubs or leagues formed by their State Association.

US Club Soccer (US Club)

Their Mission - US Club Soccer will foster the growth and development of soccer clubs throughout the United States to create the best possible development environment for players of all ages in every club.


Washington Youth Soccer (WYS), which falls under USYS, requires that individual clubs be under the umbrella of an association. Issaquah FC belongs to the Eastside Youth Soccer Association (EYSA) along with the other member clubs listed below, each being responsible for independently registering its players.

To contrast, US Club is a National organization where registration is run online at the National level.

EYSA Member Clubs. Click on any of the club icons to go directly to the clubs' websites.


In USYS, each state association is permitted to run their own "State League" which qualifies into the Regional League which qualifies into the National League. Each state association and regional association has different qualifying rules to advance to the next level.

US Club Soccer has local leagues, regional leagues and National leagues. The NPL, ENPL and ECNL are all national leagues run in-house or by US Club Members.

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